Chennai: Tamil Nadu created a unique record in emerging as the first among the Indian states both in terms of attracting domestic and foreign tourists for the second consecutive year in 2015, virtually repeating its success in 2014. In 2013, for the first time in its history, Tamil Nadu overtook other states in attracting large number of domestic tourists. The state continues to retain its upper hand over Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh that have been dominating the tourism sectors for long and despite its publicity blitzkrieg God's Own Country appears to be nowhere closer to Tamil Nadu.
During 2015, Tamil Nadu welcomed 33.35 crore domestic tourists followed by Uttar Pradesh: 20.49 crore, Andhra Pradesh: 12.16, Karnataka: 11.99, Maharashtra: 10.34, Telangana: 9.45, Madhya Pradesh: 7.8, West Bengal: 7.02, Gujarat: 3.63 and Rajasthan 3.52 crore. The contribution of these top 10 states was about 84 per cent to the total number of domestic tourist visits during 2015, as per the statistics released by the Market Research Division of Ministry of Tourism on domestic and foreign tourist visits to states / union territories (UTs) received from Departments of Tourism of various state governments and UT Administrations.
During 2015, the number of domestic tourist visits to states/ UTs was 143.2 crore compared with 128.28 crore in 2014 registering a growth of 11.63 per cent over 2014. With regard to foreign tourists arrivals last year, Tamil Nadu rolled out the red carpet to4.68 lakh, Maharashtra: 44.1, Uttar Pradesh: 31, Delhi: 23.8, West Bengal: 14.9, Rajasthan: 14.8, Kerala: 9.8, Bihar: 9.2, Karnataka: 6.4 and Goa: 5.4 lakh.
The contribution of top 10 states was about 88.4 per cent to the total number of foreign tourist visits in the country during 2015. In 2015, while the top four states retained their previous rankings, West Bengal improved by one rank to leave Rajasthan at sixth rank. Kerala, Bihar and Karnataka retained their ranks at seventh, eighth and ninth and Goa re-entered the top 10 most visited states causing Haryana to drop out of the ranks, it added.